GO FIRST! 7 WAYS TO LEAP INTO FEARLESS VULNERABILITY

As Leo Season builds towards its fiery Eclipse finale, don’t wait another second to make an unapologetic leap into your power.  How?  Simply “Go first” says Mercedes Kiss … 

The author’s Leo season collage

You see those mid-summer waves rising high in the distance and crashing to the shore, tenaciously, without apology? That’s Leo energy standing tall, asking you to meet her height, to match her show-stopping power.

If we channel Leo energy into a real-life lady goddess running through the surf, she’d look strikingly similar to the muse for this article: 90s pro vollyball phenom Gabrielle Reece. Despite practicing this ethos for a long while, the actual term “Go First” was brought to my attention most recently by Reece in her interview on The Tim Ferriss podcast.

“Go First” is a mantra to offer kindness (courageously) by harnessing our power of vulnerability (fearlessly). 

Here are 7 ways to become lionesses of light, as we leap into fearless vulnerability and “Go First” …

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1// Smile because they’re there.
You see them coming from a block away … a person … walking their dog … towards you … on the same side of the street. The debate starts in your mind: Do I look away? Search my bag for a nonexistent chapstick?  Fake frantically typing a text?

If it were 3,000 years ago and you were in that exact same spot, chances are strong you’d be scavenging for berries or bugs, and the sight of another human would be HALLELUJAH-RAISE-YOUR-HANDS-TO-THE-SKY glorious!

Go first instead! While you certainly shouldn’t risk your safety and maniacally pounce on said dog walker, you should certainly honor your shared humanity with eye-contact and a genuine smile, simply because they’re there.

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2// Reach out and touch (somebody’s hand).
According to research led by Apple, Americans access their smartphones 80+ times per day. But our ability to PHYSICALLY connect is fundamental to our sanity. So listen to the wise words of Diana Ross and “Reach out and touch somebody’s hand, and make this world a better place, if you can.”

Go first! At your next rooftop pool party, play a little game called “How Hard Can I Channel Miss Ross?” Stack on those sparkly bangles, slide into conversation like you’re on the Studio 54 dancefloor, and make your rounds. Reach your hand and yourself out there. Your moxie is what good parties are made of, and what people will remember.

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3// Be attracted.
Every morning we make a choice: put on the glasses with dark grey lenses that turn the world into a sad fog OR the glasses with rose-colored lenses that make the world look dayyyum fine (bonus points if they’re heart-shaped).

The latter turns us into love-machines: attracted to the spiraling Fibonacci pattern of a sunflower, the bursting-ripe tomatoes on a roadside stand, the sweat dripping down a frosty La Croix in the scorching sun, and certainly to the shy smirk of your cute waiter/waitress.

Go first! Whether you’re single (or not), extraverted (or not), share a heartfelt compliment by telling someone they have breathtaking eyes, wicked cool style, or a delightful aura. They will feel fantastic. You will feel fantastic. It’s a win-win-rocket to the karmic stratosphere!

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4// Boo boos and tattoos. 
Remember when you were born? Guess what you weren’t wearing?  Any makeup (much less clothing).  And everyone thought you were perfect. Then, somewhere along the journey, we discovered creams and colors to shield other people from seeing us. Honestly seeing us. Joys and triumphs and hellish heartbreaks- such are the things that a full life is made of. And they are often written on our skin.

Go first! Revel in the stories your body tells. Wear the bathing-suit glimpsing at that scar; sport the sandals showing off those nine toes.  Celebrate your patina in your own magical way.

Pick a day this week where you say into your mirror: “This is my face.  This is my gorgeous face.” Then honor your face with some SPF, leave the rest bare, and depart. If anyone at work has the gall to ask, “Where’s the mascara?,” you’re equipped with the most powerful, two-sentence response.

Kiss’ “face, her gorgeous face.”

5// Do I want to live in the arena?
In the words of Brené Brown, channeling Teddy Roosevelt’s “Man in the Arena” speech, “Dare greatly!”

This is no easy feat. We all feel the presence of critics in our lives- the loudest, of course, being our own internal judge. And we allow them the power to block us from our loftiest ambitions.  

Go first! See the critic as nothing more than a beefed-up bouncer standing outside of the disco dance arena of your dreams. He might seem big and scary, but he’s simply a veil of smoke between you and your hottest hustle.

Throw him a polite smile as you strut on past, because the arena awaits you! Who cares if you get messy while you’re in there; you’re living loud and proud and having too much fun to hear his nonsense.

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6// A lion-hearted love letter.
Often, our deepest and truest feelings are the hardest to utter face-to-face. If we let them slip through the safe grasp of our inner world and out into the air, they have to face being accepted or rejected by someone else.

But acceptance and rejection are bi-products beyond our control!  They shield us from granting our emotions full formation and clarity.  Our lion heart yearns for expression above all else, and it grows stronger not through validation, but by purely being set free.  

Go first!  Let the cat out of the bag and put your purrs to paper.  Write your truth in a lion-hearted love letter … let the pen roar without filter, suppression, or critique. It’s up to you, and not a measure of success, whether you sign, seal, and deliver this note to the object of your affection.

A Kiss collage

7// Pride #1 vs. Pride #2.
The lioness is queen of her kingdom- capable of tackling any Saharan obstacle with her singular strength. Yet she travels, hunts, and lives in prides. She knows that her greatest victories will be won with help from her fellow felines.

Go first! Ask for help. What are you struggling with at the moment (extra gold star if it’s something you thought you’d already mastered)?  Seek the guidance of friends and gurus (your Pride #1), stripped free of your armor (your Pride #2).

Vulnerability is often mistaken for weakness, but turn the tables and make it a catalyst for unleashing fiercer and fiercer layers of your self!

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Mercedes Kiss is a Boston-based designer, writer, and holistic health coach. After rocking her 20s as an architect of fancy buildings, she jumped tracks and became an architect of the soul. Follow her on Instagram and discover more about A STAND OUT, her sparkly biz devoted to serving a growing tribe of babes through high-vibe articles, personalized wellness coaching, and a line of hand-crafted organic skincare.  

MOMMY DEAREST: MOTHER’S DAY GIFTS BY SIGN

Stumped for how to honor your mamma this Mother’s Day? Ophira Edut, co-author with her sister Tali of Momstrology: The Astro Twins’ Guide to Parenting Your Little One by the Stars, has some ideas…

Aries mom: Diana Ross

The Aries Mom: Take her advice.
Supermom Aries wants nothing more than to hear these four words: “You were right, Mom.” So throw her a mother-knows-best bone. Aries rules the mind, and she wants her savvy smarts to be appreciated. Today, do things HER way. Take her out—to her favorite restaurant or a movie in her genre of choice…the one you’ve been resistant to try. You never know, she could be on to something after all.

Taurus mom: Audrey Hepburn

The Taurus Mom: Say it with flowers.
Nice ones from her favorite florist, please, arranged tastefully in a cool box (like these from Olive and Cocoa). Present them with a few impeccably wrapped high-end gifts: scarves, jewelry, nice accessories. Visual Taurus is ruled by aesthetic Venus, and this traditional mom loves beautiful presentation. This is one sign you can’t skimp on for Mother’s Day, so go designer—or at least, go decadent.

Gemini mom: Angelina Jolie

The Gemini Mom: Join in one of her hobbies.
Versatile Geminis have a million interests—books, music, films, trivia. Instead of tuning out, tune in. As the sign of the Twins, she loves to share information and discuss. Get two tickets for the show of her choosing, then analyze it over a fun meal afterward. Or, buy two copies of the same book you both want to read, and call her to discuss as you devour.

Cancer mom: Jerry Hall

The Cancer Mom: Book a family portrait session.
Say cheese! With the Cancer mom, you’re never too to pose for a professional shot of the family—the more generations involved, the better. To avoid being immortalized in a yuppie setup (everyone barefoot in jeans and matching white oxfords…you know the deal), arrange a sitting with a creative photographer. Or heck, you could even send a snapshot to an artist and commission a painting.

Leo mom: Madonna

The Leo Mom: Play dress-up with her.
Broadway, here we come! The Leo mama loves to hit the town with her lion cubs, so pull out the formalwear…and all the stops. Start with an early Mother’s Day brunch, then head to a Mama Mia matinee (or some other blockbuster musical). While you’re still humming “Dancing Queen,” finish with some disco fries and a giant hot fudge sundae at the diner—in your pearls or suit-and-tie—since she loves to do high and low in a single day.

Virgo mom: Beyonce

The Virgo Mom: Sit down for a real conversation.
The Virgo mom loves to talk—and not just idle chitchat either. She wants to know your hopes, dreams and opinions, and to share a few of her own. Book a day of undistracted quality time with her. Find a fancy hotel that serves high tea where you can hear her thoughts on life over petit fours and fragrant blends. Let her fuss over you a little—but grab the check before she tries to pay it, since the Virgo mom loves to give, but isn’t always comfortable receiving.

Libra mom: Kim Kardashian

The Libra Mom: Treat her to a day of beauty.
The lovely Libra mom savors all the pretty things in life. Treat her to all the traditional trappings: flowers, a spa trip, a special brunch, and all the Hallmark trimmings. Give her an occasion to get dressed up—and don’t forget the card! Sentimental Libra will treasure your Mother’s Day tributes forever. Tell her how much she means to you, and all the reasons why.

Scorpio mom: Goldie Hawn

The Scorpio Mom: Bond with one of your unique “me and mom” pastimes.
You know those favorite activities that you shared with your mom as a kid? Maybe it was taking a bike ride to your favorite little picnic spot, getting mani-pedis, or baking chocolate-chip banana bread and eating the whole loaf while it was still warm. Whatever it is: do that. As the sign of one-on-one bonding, the Scorpio mom cherishes those special things that only the two of you understand: inside jokes, little rituals, decadent splurges a deux. Remind her that she’s irreplaceable by re-enacting those beloved memories.

Sagittarius mom: Jane Birkin

The Sagittarius Mom: A day of adventure—with or without you.
The spontaneous Sagittarius mama is always multi-tasking, so take her away from her to-do list and off for a day of fun. Whether you head out into nature or go the “urban explorer” route, she’ll love getting away for an unstructured day of discovery. Hint: if she’s a newer mom, the independent Sag might appreciate having a few of those hours all to herself, where she can let her own inner compass guide her, and explore without having to answer to anyone but herself.

Capricorn mom: Kate Moss

The Capricorn Mom: Take over her duties.
The Capricorn mama works hard, so give her a day—or a week—off. Whatever task she toils over, take it out of her hands. Gardening, cleaning the house, walking the dog…maybe you do it for her, but even better, how about hiring a service to handle this chore for six months to a year? She may grumble for a minute, but when she comes home to crisp sheets or an impeccable yard, this dutiful mama might finally put her feet up and let herself enjoy some much-deserved rest.

Aquarius mom: Yoko Ono

The Aquarius Mom: Road trip!
Spontaneous and nomadic, the Aquarius mom loves the unexpected. Rent a car or pick her up, then go explore a town a couple hours away. Whether you collect shells on the beach then go to a quaint little crab shack, or drive into the big city, she’ll love being your co-adventurer on this Mother’s Day quest. Feel free to surprise her, too—Aquarius is the sign of the unexpected, so she’ll enjoy the thrill of anticipation.

Pisces mom: Cindy Crawford

The Pisces Mom: Gush a little, would you?
Stock up on the Kleenex and let the tearjerker moments begin! Raise a Bellini (or three) to your Pisces mom, and acknowledge all the sacrifices she’s made for you. Don’t hold back on the effusive praise because let’s face it, she’s been there for you like nobody else. It doesn’t take much to make this mushy mama misty-eyed. But go a little over the top anyway—the Pisces mom loves a glamorous setting!

Momstrology: The Astro Twins’ Guide to Parenting Your Little One By The Stars is out now. For lots more on parenting and astrology visit Momstrology.com

@AstroTwins